I have noticed that the beautiful snowy scenery of the NW that usually makes me feel so festive and happy for the holidays, is currently bringing up a twinge of sadness for it reminds me of the environment that turned tragic for one family and took two little girls father's life.
Now you may ask if I know these folks. Nope I sure don't. I just happen (it turns out) to know folks who do, but frankly I don't know them all that well either. The story no doubt hits home because it did play out here in Oregon and what I know is this.... as a parent, I found this story to be profoundly sad, touching and scary.
My true connection to this story and this family is experiencing it as a parent and a parent of small children. On hearing of the death of James Kim, I immediately worried about the mother having to grieve the loss of her husband but somehow continue on to raise her two beautiful girls. I instantly thought of those girls growing up without their father and the youngest being too young to remember her Papa all on her own.
While I can in no way speak for all parents, nor all Mamas, I believe one of the strongest emotional bonds that we all experience is the fear that for some reason our children might have to grow up without us. I hate to see any young child grow up without one or more of their parents. I myself have decided I have to figure out how to hang on until my youngest is at least 30, so that means 26 more years at a minimum. Of course it isn't up to me ... and that is where our worries can all connect.
But despite this tragedy and our parental worries, the Kim family must move foward with their lives and find a new way. We each must find a way to get back to life -- find a way to make our days truly meaningful.
In that spirit I focus back on the holidays at hand. I will re-double my efforts to be a better parent to my children and to provide them with the things they need to grow up strong and capable and happy.
And so, we've decked our halls,
put up the tree,
added the ornaments,
and added a new holiday tradition which the kids loved
of making our own gifts for family and friends
(pssst... don't tell) and
Today we'll donate a coat or two to some kids in need, attend a party for hospitalized children, do a shift at our local food bank and make every effort to coordinate a giving campaign this week to give necessities to homeless folks through a church near my son's school.
We may not be able to (despite our best and sometimes heroic efforts) live forever, but we can fill our days and those of our children with happiness, caring, love and gratitude for all we are lucky enough to have. Hugs your kids for me - will ya?